Why Does Society Find Every Inter-Faith Relationship As Suspicious?

Not every inter-faith relationship has a political agenda. Stop making inter-faith love seditious when our country’s law itself aims at protecting it.

Rudrani Gupta
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Inter-Faith Relationship
When Swara Bhaskar got married to Samajwadi Party leader Fahad Khan, many fingers were raised on their relationship. They got married under Special Marriage Act as they belonged to different religions. People criticised Bhaskar for marrying a Muslim and encouraging love jihad. Her marriage was termed as another case in which a girl will end up in a fridge or suitcase after being killed by a man under love jihad. But Bhaskar didn’t pay any heed to the criticisms. In fact, she posted pictures of her marriage in which she was happily dancing and celebrating her relationship. Why do you think this was important?

In our society, inter-faith relationships or marriages, especially those that involve Hindus and Muslims, are not accepted. They are found suspicious and murderous. All this is because of the concept of love jihad. Every inter-faith relationship involving Hindus and Muslims is termed as an attempt at love jihad.

However, the Bombay High Court made a classic statement when it said, “Merely because a girl and boy involved in a relationship belong to different religions, the case cannot be given a religious angle, the Bombay High Court recently said while dealing with a case involving "love jihad”.

The concept of love jihad gained more air when Shraddha Walker was killed by her Muslim live-in boyfriend. The details of the murder shook the entire nation and kept us in shock for a long time. After this, many people were alerted against Muslim men forcing conversion and killing Hindu girls.

I have heard people constantly remark that women shouldn’t marry a Muslim. My male cousin deserted my sister just because she had a Muslim boyfriend. He warned her and said ‘Bach kar rehna.

Why Does Society Find Every Inter-Faith Relationship As Seditious?

But is it right to say that every interfaith relationship is love jihad? Is it right to blame the relationships and shame those who are happy in them just because love jihad happens in some relationships?


Supreme Court advocate and President of Rashtriya Muslim Mahila Sangh Farah Faiz told SheThePeople love jihad is not a religious or political issue, it is a woman-centric issue. She told, “Issues like love jihad are used as political stunts when in reality they are very sensitive and related to the dignity, identity and fundamental rights of women.”

Love Jihad has gained a political colour which is pulling it far away from the idea of protecting women. Indeed, cases of love jihad have been reported and it is necessary to be alert on this issue. But this doesn’t mean that we shame every other inter-faith relationship. This doesn’t mean that we snatch the rights of women like Bhaskar who want to marry the person they love. Marrying someone you love is much beyond the idea of community, religion and political issues. It is a bond of purity, trust and understanding.

As far as conversion is concerned, it should be done with choice. Not every inter-faith relationship forces conversion. Consider the case of Swara Bhaskar, Kiran Rao or Tina Dabi. They didn’t convert to Muslims just because they married them. A person marries another person and not their community. Even after marriage, every person retains their unique identity.

As Advocate Faiz said, “If you are reading about religion and trying to understand it and are willing to follow it, only then should you opt for conversion. But if you are opting for conversion just so that you can marry a boy, then it is wrong.”

Our country has Special Marriage Act under which couples can marry without converting their religions. There are couples who accept each other as they are- the religion, caste and morals.

But if there are cases in which conversion is being forced, then it is a clear sign of something wrong going on it. Faiz says, “if he is trying to suppress you since the beginning of your relationship, by insisting that you need to change your religion, and only then can you both get married, then frankly it is akin to death. What is left of you then?”


So dear society, please understand that not every inter-faith relationship has a political agenda. Stop making inter-faith love seditious when our country’s law itself aims at protecting it. Again I am not saying that cases of love jihad don’t happen but we need to find the warning signs of it rather than restricting women from choosing inter-faith relationships. Just consider this analogy- if an apple is rotten will you remove all the other apples in the basket which are good to eat? Similarly, let’s not generalise all inter-faith relationships as seditious or suspicious.

Views expressed are the author's own. 

Suggested Reading: Feminist Devaki Jain on Love Jihad: No Hindu Dharma Asks Us to be Vicious With Young People


Swara Bhaskar love jihad